JOY

Hey y’all!  I hope all is well for everyone.  I know that life’s been a bit crazy over here, but totally great.  Lots of transitioning into new routines and adjusting to this new season we are in.  Regardless though, it’s been wonderful and fun. I’ve had so many different posts I’ve been working on and have just been trying to share them when I feel God gives me a nudge.  So today, you get my post on Joy. This has been really weighing on my heart a lot lately and I just need to get some words out. It might be messy, but hopefully you’ll feel my heart.   

A Simple Word

Joy.  The dictionary definition describes joy as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”  Joy, it’s such a small simple word. And yet so powerful. So many people seem to find it difficult to find joy in their days.  This has been something that’s really been on my heart lately. We have a choice EVERY day; we can choose to find the negative and criticize everything and everyone OR we can find the positive.  We can be kind, smile, help someone, say something nice, surprise someone with a blessing, and find joy in our days. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather smile and find the good then to be a grouchy ole’ bitty all day every day.

Society’s Take

Unfortunately, society has made it seem like we have to wallow in difficult and tough times.  That because there’s so much negative in this world, that we too have to be negative and down all the time.  That to smile or find joy during a difficult situation is weird or wrong. I loathe that society tries to make us feel that we have to let difficult times take us down.  I’ve actually had people ask me at the end of some of my long work shifts, “how are you still smiling?” My answer, “because, I make a choice every day to always find the positive in everything, regardless of what I may be up against.  Because I refuse to let the enemy have any control over my heart and my mind. Because, I’m literally ‘living the dream’.” Most of the time, they end up smiling, if not laughing. That right there along just brings me more joy. Watching someone’s attitude turn right in front of your eyes feels so good!  

Now, I’m not going to lie.  I’m human. Are there times that I just want to cry, break down, and wallow in situation I may be going through?  ABSOLUTELY! But, I also know that in my past, when I’ve given the enemy control and I’ve let myself fall into that pit, it’s freaking hard to get out.  It all becomes so overwhelming and dark. It’s not a fun place to be. I don’t like it when I’m in that place and I don’t like the person it makes me. So, over time, I’ve opted and declared the enemy has NO control.  My God has already won the victory and man am I grateful for that! God wins EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!    

Joy Overflows

I’ve watched joy play out a lot in my life as we’ve been transitioning into a new season.  Part of that season includes three work days a week that are a ‘minimum’ of 13 ½ hours from the time I leave the house in the morning until I walk back in the door in the evening.  That day also includes being on my feet 99% of that time. It would be so easy to feel worn out, tired, exhausted both mentally and physically and super difficult to find any joy. However, I still leave work with a smile on my face and joy in my heart…EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Does that mean I haven’t dealt with a tough situation, sometimes many of them? HECK NO! BUT, I know that those situations give me the opportunity to make a choice. A choice to find the good and keep pushing forward OR a choice to just dwell on it and let it take me down into a deep dark hole.  I don’t know about you, but for me, I prefer to go with the first choice. And let me tell you, that choice, if consistent will overflow your own heart and it will seep into others. Usually when you don’t even realize it.  

I’ve been watching this all play out daily and as I sit here and type this, I find myself in tears.  Tears of joy my friends. Why? Because I watch others struggle daily and I literally hurt for them. However, I know that those are opportunities God is placing in my life to let my joy overflow and seep into them.  Those moments are blessings. They give me the ability to let my joy overflow to them and I get to watch their hearts, minds, and faces changes right in front of me. I get to see them smile again. It’s then that I know that I’ve done what God has called me to do.  

I get it, life isn’t easy.  We were never promised easy.  However, we were promised that if we can come to the Lord in good and bad times and truly lay our burdens down to our Father, He will guide us.  He will give us strength when we don’t feel like we have any and He will keep us going. You just have to trust. His promises are real, His callings upon our hearts and lives are real, and He is so alive and working in me and others.  

I Challenge You

Every morning as I drive to work (or when I start every morning), I pray.  I pray that God works in and through me. That He uses me to bless others. That He gives me the words to speak.  That He presents me with situations and opportunities for me to share His love and maybe, just maybe if someone doesn’t know Him, that they will want to know Him.  I pray that when others look at me, they see Him. And that when my days are done, I can know that I did everything I could and that I’ve made Him proud. All I want is to know that I’ve done what He called me to do.  

I challenge you as you go about your day today.  Seek you Father, ask Him to guide you, to give you strength even if you feel you don’t need it.  Ask Him to work in and through you and to present you with opportunities to spread your joy. I pray today that when others look at me and at all of you that they see Jesus.  Be His hands and His feet and whatever gift He’s placed upon your heart, RUN WITH IT my friends. Don’t ever look back. I promise you that you will never regret fully leaning into God and seeking Him in all that you do.  I pray blessings over each and every one of you today. Much love and blessings. ~ B

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)    

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faith.” Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)

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